MAX VERSTAPPEN enjoys a dominant 93-point lead in the drivers championship ahead of his home Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April
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Max Verstappen had his car checked by the FIA ahead of his home race at the Dutch Grand Prix. The FIA investigated after a seal was broken on his gearbox ahead of the first practice session.
Max Verstappen had his car checked by the FIA (Image: Getty)
However, the FIA technical delegate warned his car was still compliant with the regulations and the Dutchman will not face any penalties. The FIA report read: “A seal was broken on the gearbox of car number 01, driver Max Verstappen, in order to change the main shaft locking insert.
“This was done in accordance with Article 9.1.8 of the 2022 FIA Formula One Technical Regulations. The forward change gear ratio pairs of the gearbox of car number 01, driver Max Verstappen, were checked and found to be in compliance with Articles 9.6.1, 9.7.3 and 9.7.4 of the 2022 Formula One Technical Regulations.”
The issue worsened in FP1 with Verstappen stopping on track just 10 minutes into the first practice session. The Dutchman revealed it was a “gearbox” issue over team radio moments later.
Verstappen is looking to secure a second home Grand Prix win after beating Lewis Hamilton at last season’s race at Zandvoort. The Dutch star is also looking to secure four consecutive race victories for the first time in his career.
READ MORE: Verstappen details ‘different feeling’ vs Leclerc compared to Hamilton
Verstappen now enjoys a 98-point advantage over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after winning in Spa where the Scuderia faltered. It means the reigning champion almost has enough of a gap to retire from four races and still be ahead of the Monegasque in the standings.
Despite enjoying home advantage, Verstappen still warns others could get in the mix. He explained: “Spa was amazing for us, and I think also better than expected. I think it’s just our car with the layout, it suited the car really well.
“Here, you run a lot of downforce on the car, it’s a completely different track layout, less straight-line speed in general. It’s gonna be interesting. If we nail our set-up the car will be quick, but it’s a bit of a question mark of how quick it will be compared to others.”
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Max Verstappen has a massive 93-point lead in the championship (Image: Getty)
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted the team will keep Verstappen “in a bubble” this weekend to avoid distractions. Verstappen was appointed an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau ahead of the race while the Dutchman’s Orange army will be out in force at a sold-out Zandvoort on Sunday.
Horner commented: “I think you have to keep the pressure on because as soon as you don’t, you start making mistakes. So we will approach Zandvoort with exactly the same discipline that we have done every Grand Prix this year.”
“As for Verstappen’s workload. There are no additional activities for Max compared to a standard grand prix weekend. Of course, there will be an awful lot of noise around the circuit but we will try to keep him within a bubble inside the team to try to manage expectation.”